No matter our politics, no matter who we voted for as president, now we must all work together to heal the divides in our country.
What this election brought to light is that bigotry persists in our country. Sadly, it is alive and well, and we must oppose it with all our might.
What this election also reveals is the depth of pain and hurt felt by many Americans – of all colors and all walks of life – who feel unfairly treated, misunderstood, invisible, and stereotyped.
How do we heal our country?
The task of healing our country means that we stretch ourselves to understand how other Americans see the world, even when we see the world differently. It means we push ourselves to feel sympathy for the concerns of other Americans, even when we don’t share the same concerns.
Let me sharpen the task ahead. Yes, the task of healing our country means learning how to feel empathy for people who say things that are offensive to you. And yes, the task of healing our country means people feeling empathy for things you say that are offensive to them.
And everyone hangs in there. And through that human encounter we find common ground and mutual understanding. Of course this is not easy to do. It is painful to do. But it must be done if our country is to heal and go forward.
And this is the reason why. We must recognize that there are bad actors out there — forces in our country who want alienation and polarization, who want people not to talk to each other or to understand each under, who want people just to be angry and hate each other. So even though it will be hard, we must not allow our country or our diverse communities to be divided from each other.
I love this country and I hope you do too.
Let us be hopeful. Whatever the problems our country faces, we will solve them all.